A few months ago, I was invited by Cosplay Network Philippines (CNPH) to attend one of the country’s most prominent event, Fantasy Quest, in the month of August. As this would be their third year running and some of my friends from other countries had attended this event previously, I figured why not?
Despite the threat of heavy rain, the weather mostly cleared up by the time I arrived at the Manila airport. Welcomed warmly by the organizers, I (as well as other cosplayer guests from all over South East Asia) had a day of rest and shopping before the actual event itself. Fantasy Quest took place over a course of two days, the first of which is a VIP segment with the amazing Japanese cosplayer Usagi, and the second which served as a day event, open to the general public.
An interesting aspect of the event would be Fantasy Quest’s (pardon the pun) fantastic location. Popular with weddings and other kind of celebrations/parties, Fernwood Gardens have several different mini-sections each with their own unique backgrounds and architecture. As a photographer, I find the place to be a refreshing change from the typical mall/convention centers/schools that is the staple of other cosplay events.
I also had the pleasure of interacting with many of the local cosplayers and photographers. The cosplayers are overwhelmingly talented and down-to-earth, whereas the photographers are skilled and “hungry” to do better. Like most events, there are a mix of photographers using natural light, and those who prefer to be strobists with their compliments of lightstands, softboxes, flashes. Either way, quite a few of them can give the rest of us photographers elsewhere, a run for our money.
Overall, I had the blast of a time (it helped that the local food was awesome too) during my trip there. The warmth and friendliness of the Philippine folks there serves as an extra incentive to come back again! I hope to pay the country a visit again, in the near future.
Without any further ado, some photos from the event itself. You can find more photos from my Facebook Page, so do drop by and have a look!
Day 1: Here
Day 2: Here